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Int J Nanomedicine. 2007;2(3):487-92.

Nanostructured metal coatings on polymers increase osteoblast attachment.

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Division of Engineering, Brown University, 184 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Bioactive coatings are in high demand to increase the functions of cells for numerous medical devices. The objective of this in vitro study was to characterize osteoblast (bone-forming cell) adhesion on several potential orthopedic polymeric materials (specifically, polyetheretherketone, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, and polytetrafluoroethylene) coated with either titanium or gold using a novel Ionic Plasma Deposition process which creates a surface-engineered nanostructure (with features below 100 nm). Results demonstrated that compared to currently-used titanium and uncoated polymers, polymers coated with either titanium or gold using Ionic Plasma Deposition significantly increased osteoblast adhesion. Qualitative cell morphology results supported quantitative adhesion results as increased osteoblast cell spreading was observed on coated polymers compared to uncoated polymers. In this manner, this in vitro study strongly suggests that Ionic Plasma Deposition should be further studied for creating nanometer surface features on a wide variety of materials to enhance osteoblast functions necessary for orthopedic applications.

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